Charitable giving Charity Giving Intelwars philanthropy

Despite economic downturn, Americans’ charitable giving was at a record high in 2020

A new report on American philanthropy released this week revealed that charitable giving in the U.S. reached recored levels last year — in spite of an economy that saw paychecks slashed and unemployment soaring.

What did the report say?

The annual Giving USA report published Tuesday revealed that Americans gave a record $471 billion to charity in 2020, according to the Associated Press. The Giving USA Foundation said 2020’s levels beat 2019’s record giving of $448 billion by 5.1%, the AP said.

This all came as the U.S. economy contracted 3.5% — the worst since 1946 — and tens of millions of jobs were lost, leading to nearly 15% unemployment in the spring of 2020.

According to the AP, estates and foundations led the increased giving as they saw more people facing greater needs and concerns, spurred on by the pandemic and racial justice protests.

Amir Pasic, the dean of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, which researched and wrote the 2021 report, said in a statement, “In some ways, 2020 is a story of uneven impact and uneven recovery,” the AP reported.

“Many wealthier households were more insulated from the effects of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic shock,” he added, “and they may have had greater capacity to give charitably than households and communities that were disproportionately affected and struggled financially.”

Despite the bad name given to America’s wealthy, it was the rich who really contributed to the spike in giving to educational nonprofits and other charities. However, it wasn’t just the wealthy who increased their giving: The study’s examination of surveys and tax data for 128 million U.S. households showed that small donors, too, “stepped up to meet the increased needs brought forth by the economic crisis, racial unrest and a global pandemic,” the AP said. However, giving from corporations was down.

More from the AP:

Giving by individuals, which made up a majority of the donations last year, rose by approximately 2%. The biggest uptick came from foundations, who, in total, increased their giving by 17% for an estimated $88.5 billion in contributions. Those donations made up about 19% of the total share of contributions, the largest that has ever come from foundations.

The spike in giving was coupled with changes many foundations adapted in the early days of the pandemic to provide more flexibility to grantees in their pandemic response. The changes included loosening restrictions on how to use prior and new donations, but how long that will continue, if at all, remains unclear.

By contrast, companies gave about 6% less in 2020 than they did in 2019, the report said. Experts note giving by corporations is closely tied to GDP and pre-tax profits, which both declined last year.

Recipient groups with a focus on civil rights and the environment saw the biggest jump in receipts last year, the New York Times reported. Religious and educational groups, foundations, human services, international affairs, and public-society benefit organizations also saw an uptick.

Giving to health care groups and arts and culture organizations actually fell — largely because those operations rely significantly on in-person events and fundraisers that were routinely canceled during the pandemic.

Will the giving trend continue? Giving USA Foundation Chair Laura MacDonald is hopeful — but also realistic.

“As an optimist, I’d like to believe that Americans’ generosity will continue to grow,” MacDonald said, the AP reported. “But as a realist, I understand that giving responds to larger economic forces. In 2021, we may also realize the benefits of engaging donors through galas and events, personal visits, and in-person experiences.”

Charity Crime Intelwars

Make-a-Wish leader pleads guilty to stealing tens of thousands of dollars donated to help dying kids, avoids jail time

The onetime CEO of Make-a-Wish Iowa pleaded guilty this week to stealing tens of thousands of charity dollars intended to support sick and dying kids and their families, the Associated Press reported.

Jennifer Woodley, a 40-year-old wife and mother who was arrested on Jan. 21, struck a plea deal with prosecutors that will allow her to avoid any jail time for her three felonies.

What happened?

According to a charging document cited by the AP, Woodley embezzled nearly $41,000 from the charity.

Woodley took over the leadership post at the charity in August 2019 and gave herself an unapproved $10,000 bonus just months later in October 2019. According to prosecutors, Woodley hid her bonus among a list of legitimate bonuses already earned by other charity employees, the AP said.

The bonus cost the charity more than $15,000, according to a report in the Des Moines Register at the time of Woodley’s arrest.

She also gave herself unapproved salary increases, the AP said.

In addition to her inflated compensation, Woodley also made dozens of unauthorized charges for herself on a charity credit card. According to reports from the AP and People magazine, she spent more than $23,000 in a 10-month period across 84 authorized card purchases for her personal use. She did not reimburse the organization for any of the expenses.

She attempted to cover her tracks by making false entries into foundation records related to the fraudulent expenses.

Woodley pleaded guilty to three felonies: two counts of first-degree theft and one count of fraudulent practices. The multiple class C felonies carried up to 10 years in jail for each, the Register said, but her plea agreement allows her to avoid any jail time. Under the deal, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of five years of probation, as well as fines and restitution, the AP said. Restitution for the embezzlement of more than $40,000 has not been set yet.

Woodley’s attorney, Nicholas Sarcone, said he will seek to have the case expunged from her record if she completes her probation and sentencing requirements.

Judge Scott Beattie accepted Woodley’s guilty pleas Tuesday. A sentencing hearing is set for July 20.

“We appreciate that the Iowa legal system resolved this matter with an agreement that includes restitution,” Make-A-Wish told People in a statement. “As always, we remain committed to ensuring that donations to Make-A-Wish are safeguarded and properly used to advance our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child fighting a critical illness.”

Make-a-Wish Iowa, which has an annual budget of $4 million, 16 staffers, and a 17-member volunteer board, is one of 60 Make-a-Wish America chapters that provide support and experiences for critically ill kids and their families, the Register said.

Charity Contest Intelwars Retreat Groups Retreat Locales Retreat Logistics Survival Mindset

The Honeypot Survivalist, by Gnorizon

Surviving virtually any event largely comes down to resource availability, planning, groups and perhaps most critically thinking. Thinking is the one innate ability that separates humanity from the wild and, arguably, from other humans unable or unwilling to adjust to new events; history, particularly noted in war, is replete with such examples ranging from the macro level down to the individual. The ability to leverage thinking can compensate for a weakness in resource availability, planning and groups – such as cohesion of individuals in the group, its longevity and so on. The purpose of this article is to present information …

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Charity Good News Intelwars King of kings church Medical Debt midwest Omaha nebraska Rip medical debt

Omaha church partners with nonprofit and cancels $7.2 million of medical debt for strangers

A Nebraska church is serving its community and helping those in need by helping to eliminate millions of dollars in medical expenses for people overwhelmed by debt.

King of Kings Church in Omaha has partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a New York-based nonprofit organization, to buy up medical debt and then forgive it.

“They are just doing a terrific ministry,” King of Kings Church lead pastor Greg Griffith told WOWT-TV.

RIP Medical Debt was founded in 2014 by former debt collections executives Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton. Their organization uses donations to purchase medical debt from hospitals and doctors practices before it is sold to collections firms and then forgives that debt, freeing people in need from the enormous burden of their medical expenses.

When debt is sold to collections, it is sold at a discount, for a fraction of the total value of the debt. This allows RIP Medical Debt to purchase the rights to collect medical debt cheaply and then cancel that debt. There’s no need to raise millions of dollars to cancel millions of dollars of debt. For every $100 donation, RIP Medical Debt says they can forgive $10,000 of medical debt.

When Pastor Griffith learned that churches have partnered with RIP Medical Debt to forgive debts across the country, he wanted his King of Kings Church to be a part of that effort. The coronavirus pandemic has prevented churches nationwide from meeting and serving their communities in the way they are used to, but Griffith said RIP Medical Debt gave his church an ability to make a difference in people’s lives in a way that was relevant to the times.

“Health care is an issue. Medical debt is an issue and people are going to the hospital totally unexpectedly because of this global pandemic and so we felt this would be a great way to say, ‘Let us help you,'” he said.

King of Kings Church made a $35,000 donation that RIP Medical Debt turned around to buy up the medical debt of 2,700 people, eliminating $7.2 million worth of debt in Nebraska, Iowa, and part of Arizona.

Pastor Griffith hopes other churches take advantage of the opportunity provided by RIP Medical Debt and similar organizations to serve people in need across the United States.

“We could cancel all medical debt, even student loan debt,” he said. “I hope and pray other churches take a look at this model and consider it.”

American Football Baltimore Ravens Bills fans Bills mafia Buffalo bills Charity generosity Good News Intelwars NFL

Bills Mafia generosity amazes after Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson left game with injury

On Saturday, the Buffalo Bills met the Baltimore Ravens in western New York, facing off for their divisional playoff game. In the second half, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was forced to leave the game after sustaining an injury that triggered the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Presented with the fact that the star player of the only team standing in the way of the Buffalo Bills returning to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since 1994 was now out of the game, Bills fans responded by rallying to raise money for Jackson’s favorite charity, “Blessings in a Backpack.” After the game ended, with Buffalo winning 17-3, charitable donations from the “Bills Mafia” came pouring into the organization, which provides food for needy elementary school children across America.

“It started around 11:30 last night, and our donation box just started flooding with donations from Bills fans for Lamar. It’s just been overwhelming — in the best possible way,” Blessings in a Backpack’s Nikki Grizzle told ESPN.

Bills fans posted to social media encouraging others to donate $8 or more to the charity in honor of Jackson, who wears number 8, wishing him a speedy recovery as well.

Grizzle said that as of 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, more than 9,000 people had already donated over $240,000 to the charity. As of Monday morning, donations reportedly grew close to $300,000.

The Baltimore Ravens acknowledged the Bills Mafia for their magnanimity in victory.

Bills fans are earning a reputation for their generous giving. Last November, Bills quarterback Josh Allen learned that his paternal grandmother Patricia Allen had died suddenly, the day before the Bills were set to play against the Seattle Seahawks. Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott gave Allen the opportunity to sit out the game to grieve, but Allen instead elected to keep playing and led the team to a 44-34 victory over Seattle, throwing for 415 yards and three touchdowns.

After Allen’s outstanding performance, the Bills Mafia launched a fundraising campaign for the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, donating in Patricia’s name. Many fans donated in increments of $17, honoring Allen’s jersey number, and since November over $1 million has been donated to the hospital.

Grizzle summarized the charity of the Bills Mafia with a single word.

“Amazing,” she said. “And it just keeps rolling in.”

On Sunday Jan. 24, the Buffalo Bills will play against 2020 Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs for the AFC Championship and the right to travel to Tampa for Super Bowl LV.

Charity Christmas spirit Covid relief COVID-19 fundraiser Intelwars small businesses

American generosity during the pandemic shows the Christmas spirit is alive and well

To embrace the Christmas spirit is generally to be generous, kind, forgiving, and, of course, joyful.

Yet if there were ever a time that would seem to run counter to that spirit, it is here and now in 2020. This Christmas season is difficult for far too many Americans facing economic hardship because of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Americans and small businesses have suffered without relief as state governments prohibited them from earning a living while Congress took eight months to negotiate a $900 billion relief package that will compensate every American for months of economic uncertainty with just $600.

As Axios reported on Monday, the outlook for the country at first seems bleak. Jobless claims rose to 885,000 last week, a full 85,000 claims more than economists had predicted. The U.S. poverty rate is up to 11.7%, jumping 2.4% since June, which according to the Washington Post is the largest increase since the government began tracking that data. Some 12 million renters will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities by January, again according to the Washington Post. Retail sales decreased 1.1% in November, according to the Associated Press. And as a report from earlier this month showed, a staggering 1 in 6 restaurants have been forced to close forever because of the lockdown policies instituted by several states.

But there is cause for good cheer. For hope. Because while it seems the American government has failed its people, the American people, in a spirit of great generosity, charity, and patriotism that is all too fitting for this time of year, have done wondrous good works to help small businesses in need.

TheBlaze has covered some of these stories. BlazeTV host Glenn Beck last week established a fundraiser to aid small businesses across the nation, sharing the stories of struggling business owners with his audience and encouraging those who can afford to do so to donate money to help them stay afloat. Beck’s initial goal of raising $50,000 was demolished as over 3,000 donors raised more than $200,000 in under one week.

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy launched a similar effort, beginning with a personal donation of $500,000 to what he named the “Barstool Fund” for small businesses that continue to pay their employees. More than 30,000 supporters quickly raised nearly $2 million to get money to businesses that need extra help to pay their rent, tax bills, or whatever overhead costs they face to keep employees working and earning a living for their families.

Then there’s celebrity chef Guy Fieri, who raised $21.5 million after creating the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, a charity that provides $500 grants to restaurant workers in all 50 states and has served over 43,000 restaurant workers nationwide.

Critically, Americans are also showing that you don’t need to be a celebrity or have a platform with millions of followers to make an impact. A GoFundMe page linking to various fundraisers for small businesses affected by the coronavirus shows that ordinary, everyday people have set up more than 17,000 fundraisers to save businesses in their communities. Just a quick look through these GoFundMe pages shows tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for each one, totaling millions of dollars that will keep the American dream alive for these business owners and their employees.

For those interested in donating to multiple businesses, GoFundMe has created a Small Business Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to qualifying small businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the generosity of so many, the fund has provided over $2.4 million to help businesses afford rent payments, supplement staff wages, pay for PPE, transition to online business, and more.

No matter how difficult times may be, what these efforts demonstrate is that each and every American should be confident that we all have countrymen who are willing to lend a hand to those in need. That’s the epitome of the Christmas spirit. What’s more, it’s the American way.

Charity Economics & Investing Field Gear Gardening Home Schooling Hunting Intelwars Survival Mindset Target Shooting & Marksmanship Traditional Skills/Fieldcraft Weapons

Economics & Investing For Preppers

Today, on Christmas Day, in place of my normal Friday news column, I have this special bit of investing commentary for my readers: Investing In Your Children’s Future Today, December 25th, for most Americans, is a holiday of generous excess. We live in a still relatively prosperous nation, and we are a people known for our generosity. One end of your house is most likely strewn with bits of wrapping paper and ribbons. Your children or grandchildren are surely playing with their new toys, dolls, and games. A few of them are probably pouting, because they didn’t receive a Playstation …

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Black Lives Matter Charity Christmas Christmas lights Intelwars protest watch Wisconsin

Black Lives Matter group invades ‘Candy Cane Lane’ — streets decorated with Christmas lights to benefit children with cancer — with protest march

A Black Lives Matter group invaded “Candy Cane Lane” on Friday night — a residential neighborhood in West Allis, Wisconsin, decorated with Christmas lights to benefit children with cancer — marching and chanting and shouting through bullhorns at vehicles lined up in the streets to see the displays.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

What is Candy Cane Lane?

Here’s a brief history of Candy Cane Lane from its website:

In December,1984, a wonderful group of neighbors living in West Allis, Wisconsin, joined together to collect donations for the MACC Fund — Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc., in honor of a neighbor’s child diagnosed with cancer. The neighbors worked in concert in decorating their homes and encouraged visitors to make a small donation as they drove through the festively enhanced neighborhood. All of the money raised went to supporting research, treatment, and the eventual discovery of a cure for childhood cancers and related blood diseases.

What happened Friday night?

Several videos showed the protesting group — the People’s Revolution — marching through the brightly lit streets chanting “Black lives matter!” “No justice! No peace!” and “Whose lane? Our lane! Whose streets? Our streets!” The People’s Revolution has protested for months in Wauwatosa, as member of the group is accused of firing a gun at former police officer Joseph Mensah, Wisconsin Right Now reported.

The outlet said the Milwaukee County Crime, Fire, and Police News page on Facebook contained comments about the protest. “Yes, they came through. Did not obey any traffic rules,” one woman wrote, Wisconsin Right Now noted.

One man added, “My significant other lives on Candy Cane Lane, and she just texted me – BLM just crashed Candy Cane Lane! …they were blasting music so loud that it made her windows and walls shake and scared the crap out of her dogs,” the outlet said, adding that the man also had an issue with the group disrupting a charity: “If you don’t have a problem with this, then not only are you part of the problem, you are also a Class A Asshole!!!!”

Here’s a video of the march:

TPR- Day 204- MERRY CHRISTMAS CANDY CANE LN #neverstopvoices #independentmedia

Wisconsin Right Now also said a man shared a post from a friend:

So my son and I were playing in the living room, and we heard very loud music and people chanting from the outside. We open up the front door to see what all the commotion was about. It was a “Black Lives Matter” march going up and down my block and through Candy Cane Lane. These people saw my “Back the Badge” sign and “Trump 2020” sign and began to shout at us. They began to give us the middle finger and shouted, “F*** YOU F*** THE POLICE F*** TRUMP!” Uhm really? I am holding my ONE year old son in my arms. Glad to see how “peaceful” and “respectful” these people and protests really are lol. What a bunch of pieces of s**t.

Available videos so far don’t depict such a confrontation — but the latter YouTube video does show a woman apparently confronting the group in the street:

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Mariah Smith shared a livestream of the march during which she acknowledged that several non-participants were “mad as hell” at the group. Prior to the march she asked her comrades, “Ready to make some f***in’ noise, man?”

What did police have to say?

“Last evening, starting at about 6:40 pm, we received a handful of calls of a protest group moving through Candy Cane Lane. The callers indicated that the group was causing traffic congestion and noise disturbances. West Allis officers responded to the area and monitored the situation. There was heavy traffic congestion related to Candy Cane Lane. There were reports of protestors walking in the roadway and using a bullhorn. Officers did not observe any violence or vandalism. No arrests were made and no citations were issued,” police told Wisconsin Right Now.

What did supporters of the protest have to say?

Never Stop Media LLC defended the People’s Revolution group: “The group planned the march through Candy Cane Ln with the intent to bring awareness to the neighborhood and stand up for [people of color] who live in the area. Marchers were seen dressed in holiday spirit and of course Santa made a special appearance for the occasion.”

In addition, Never Stop Media noted:

In our video it clearly shows demonstrators walking down the center of the streets to not impede any of the vehicles. None of these vehicles were surrounded, stranded or harassed. Posts claiming that TPR harassed people who did not approve of the protest are also not true. You can see in our video posted that when met with distain, protestors wished those people a Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday with of course the chant that “Black Lives Matter” as they continued to march. Posts also claim that TPR was terrorizing children who were looking at the holiday decorations. In the video posted by us it clearly shows families, both black and white with children showing full support for the group with parents and children yelling black lives matter. When demonstrators approached organizers (also standing in the streets) who were collecting donations they were asked to go around because they were trying to collect money. Members of TPR formed a wall as the rest of the group walked past so that organizers could collect their donations without interruption. This can also be seen in our video. At no time were donations interrupted for the MAAC Fund.

Child shouting ‘Black lives matter!’ with adult encouragement during Candy Cane Lane protestImage source: YouTube screenshot

The People’s Revolution marches also chanted, “We have every right to be in these streets!” and “All lives don’t matter until black lives matter!”

Charity Covid-19 panemic Covid-19 restrictions Economy GoFundMe Intelwars small businesses

Glenn Beck’s GoFundMe for small businesses crushes goal as Americans step up to help those in need this Christmas

A fundraiser set up by BlazeTV host Glenn Beck to aid small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic has blown past its original goal, raising more than $170,000.

“Over 300,000 Americans have died from the COVID-19 virus this year and my heart goes out to every single one of the millions of Americans who will spend their first holiday season without a loved one,” Beck said in a post on his website. “Another devastating part of what we’ve experienced together in 2020 goes beyond the loss of human life. It’s the loss of one of the greatest, most special aspects of American society as well.

“Small businesses throughout America are the unnamed victims of this COVID-19 pandemic and economists estimate at least 100,000 small businesses permanently closed in the first two months of this pandemic alone,” he wrote. “Well, it’s been nearly ten months now. Do the math. That’s one million businesses that have closed their doors forever — millions of Americans who poured everything into a dream, with nothing to show for it now.”

Beck started a GoFundMe account on Thursday with an initial goal of raising $50,000 to help ailing small businesses across the country. On his radio program Thursday, Beck dedicated time to telling the stories of small business owners who are in desperate need of help as the pandemic threatens their livelihoods, and even their lives.

He shared Catherine Hill’s story. Catherine owns a neighborhood bar in Clovis, California, called Miss Kitty’s Lounge. In August 2019, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She underwent six months of chemotherapy, 15 rounds of radiation and a radical mastectomy in her battle with cancer. Since the pandemic began, her bar was closed via executive order from the governor and without income, she hasn’t been able to pay her rent. Her landlords have now taken her to court and threaten to not only take her business away forever but everything else as well, including life insurance for her kids.

Dave Foldes is the co-owner of Cronies Sports Grill in California. Despite the government orders to close his business, Dave has vowed he will not lay off a single employee during the Christmas season. Attempting to keep that promise has brought him into direct confrontation with California authorities, who have fined him $500 a day — now totaling more than $7,000 — for refusing to abide by the coronavirus restrictions that would force him to lay off employees. He told Glenn his defiance isn’t a political statement, he just believes his employees have a right to earn a living and he won’t break his commitments to his staff.

In one clip from Beck’s show, he shared the heartbreaking story of Rochelle Rene Ratto, a 39-year-old mother of two who owned Boat Barn Bagels. Ratto’s bakery in Cañon City, Colorado, was forced to shut down because of COVID-19 restrictions. On October 26, Ratto took her own life.

Ratto’s mother, Shari Rogers, said her daughter’s death was a casualty of the pandemic. She told the Cañon City Council on Monday that small business owners are in desperate need of assistance to survive.

“She tried to do it, but she couldn’t do it and she killed herself,” Rogers said. “She was strong, she was smart, she was developing the business mind and doing well. I just feel like dollars are more important than just about anything, and then testing so that when the community freaks out, [business owners] can test themselves and their employees.”

COVID 19 is destroying small business, & these owners NEED OUR HELP

Beck asked his audience to take a stand and give businesses the help they need to prevent more tragedies like Ratto’s death.

“I ask you to stand with me,” Beck said. “To show that the government may have abandoned the small business owner but we won’t abandon them.”

In addition to the GoFundMe account Beck set up, he also donated all proceeds collected on Thursday from to help small business owners find relief from COVID-19 restrictions.

As of the time this article was published, Beck’s GoFundMe account has raised $173,431, vastly out-raising the initial goal of $50,000.

Campaign 2020 Charity Georgia runoff Intelwars John Legend Mark Cuban

John Legend attacks Mark Cuban’s idea telling people to donate to food banks, says give money to Democrats

Billionaire Mark Cuban urged Americans to put one another “above politics” on Thursday by donating money to food banks instead of the U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia.

“For those considering donating to Reps or Dems in the Georgia Senate run-offs, can you please re-consider and donate that money to your local foodbank and organizations that can help those without food or shelter? Lets put Americans in need above Politics,” Cuban said.

But according to singer John Legend, that is not the best use of money for Americans right now.

What did Legend say?

Instead, Legend said Americans should donate to the Georgia Senate runoff races, claiming that giving Democrats control of the Senate would be more “impactful” than donating to food banks.

“I get that politics is annoying and contentious, but the bottom line is that the Senate flipping would be far more impactful than a food bank donation. We need massive stimulus and aid to individuals and small businesses. Government needs to do this,” Legend replied.

“Charity isn’t sufficient,” he added.

Critics slammed Legend for his comments.

“How much is the Democratic establishment paying you? Seriously advocating against donating to food banks to donate to political campaigns is utterly detestable. It’s a damn shame quite frankly. Remember you said this if we ever see a food shortage anytime soon,” one person said.

“This is crazy, John. Democrats just blocked a Senate bill that had funding for individuals and small businesses, House Democrats’ bill didn’t even have small business funding. Telling people not to feed the homeless because a Dem government will take care of them is just wrong,” another person said.

‘Come on John’

In response, Cuban sarcastically suggested Americans should stop donating to charity altogether because, of course, politics will solve all our problems.

“Let’s go all the way. Stop donating to charity, give those $ to politicians because 1 party will solve all of our problems! Come on John. There is a point of diminishing returns on political ad spend, there are no diminished returns when it comes to feeding the hungry,” Cuban said.

Legend responded by saying, “charity isn’t going to be sufficient to address all the suffering out there. We need big spending that only governments can do at scale.”

“I believe the Democrats will do more to help the country recover. Period. I don’t think it’s even close. Mitch will be obstructionist and try to find ways to make Biden a one-term president, just as he promised (and failed) to do with Obama,” Legend added.

For his part, the Grammy Award-winning musician said he would be doing both — donating to politicians and charity.

Analysts say more than $1 billion could be spent in both of Georgia’s runoff elections because control over the Senate hinges on both of those races. Democrats would need to win both seats to have effective control in the Senate.

American journey experience American journey experience vault American journey training Charity Glenn Beck History Intelwars Learning Mercury One museums

Glenn Beck unveils new American Journey Experience museum and training center to teach real history backed by truth

Glenn Beck unveiled the American Journey Experience, a place where you can learn the real history of the United States because you’ll be immersed in the documents, artifacts, and stories that molded this great country. The American Journey Experience will be so much more than just dates and names. It will be a place where American pioneers and their accomplishments will be brought to life and you can experience history.

The American Journey Experience features a myriad of American history antiquities, including Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wheelchair, the second electric chair ever built, the original script for Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds,” and original letters written by George Washington.

But the American Journey Museum is not just a museum. The new climate-controlled American Journey Vault stores rare documents that chronicle this nation’s legendary past. Inside is one of the rarest books in the world, an Aitken Bible from 1782, the first and only edition of the Bible ever authorized by Congress. Only 10,000 copies were originally made, and just 30-40 copies exist today.

Having the original documents and actual artifacts allows the American Journey Experience to fight misinformation with facts from primary sources.

The new American Journey Training Center is where college students and adults will be given an education unlike any other. This history lesson is far beyond what you learned from your Western Civilization class back in high school. The training is customized for educators, academic researchers, students of all ages, families, and everyday Americans who are seeking the truth about our nation’s history.

For students, there will be two-week courses. On the first day of this groundbreaking course, you will be asked questions about hot-button topics such as the free market, socialism, abortion, and more. Then the course will provide students with a solid foundation of knowledge backed by historical evidence and not revisionist history. Real history that is backed by truth.

Not only will the instructors provide knowledge about American history and patriots, but they will more importantly equip young minds with the abilities and know-how on how they can be “truth-seekers” once they leave the classroom.

While the American Journey Experience has an incredible array of artifacts and documents, to tell the complete story of America, the museum will need more relics to teach America’s past to America’s future.

Donations will help Mercury One secure critical artifacts such as one of the best pilgrim collections, which was displayed at the Smithsonian. The pilgrim collection from as far back as the 16th century.

With your contributions, no matter how much, you will enable the team at the American Journey Experience to take centuries-old books and digitalize them, making them available online for all Americans to embrace these eminent documents.

Glenn Beck, founder of the humanitarian aid and education organization Mercury One, along with David Barton, the founder of WallBuilders, invite you to embark on an American journey. With your help, the American Journey Experience can help tell the real story of this one-of-a-kind nation and the heroes who built it.

You can make a donation to the American Journey Experience HERE.

To make a donation, you can text “mercuryone” to 56651.

anti-police Charity Connecticut Intelwars Police Target watch

Target store manager turns away cops during school supply drive because ‘he doesn’t support police,’ mayor says

A Connecticut mayor said her city’s police officers were in the middle of their annual back-to-school supply drive when a Target manager turned them away because “he doesn’t support the police.”

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart tweeted her accusation Tuesday.

Stewart also asked, “Anyone want to make a donation?”

New Britain police last week said they wanted to stuff a few of their cruisers with school supplies to help city children and families before the new school year commences, WSFB-TV reported,

New Britain’s Fire Chief Raul Ortiz threw in his support in response to Stewart’s tweet: “I’ll donate. That is unbelievable. Isn’t community policing and involvement what we want more of? Our NBPD has been exceptional in that aspect.”

Target’s regional manager “made a personal $500 donation for supplies and apologized for what happened,” the mayor added minutes after her first tweet.

And several hours later, Stewart posted a follow-up saying Target is “letting PD go back this weekend for collection drive and has placed a donation bin in the store, too.”

What did Target have to say?

The following day Target responded on Twitter: “We have a long history of supporting the New Britain community, and we’re sorry for the misunderstanding. We’ve talked with police, and they’re returning to our store this weekend for their back-to-school drive. In addition, Target’s donating school supplies to support the efforts.”

Also on Wednesday, New Britain spokesman Edward Ford told WSFB “the past 24 hours we’ve seen a tremendous amount of support from the community for the police department’s back to school drive.”

Numerous business employees over the last several years have refused to serve police in headline-grabbing style. The severity of service employees’ anti-cop behavior seems to have ramped up since George Floyd’s death in late May.

Anything else?

Timothy Conaway starting the fundraiser nearly seven years ago in partnership with the police department, WTIC-TV reported, and he said when he showed up Saturday morning at the Target with two officers they were asked to leave.

“I told him I was here last year, and he didn’t agree or believe me, and he told us to leave,” Conaway added to the station. “Officers were looking like, ‘You really want us to leave?’ And he said yes.”

Jovanka Segura — a volunteer with Conaway — told WTIC the manager was rude but doesn’t recall being turned away for police-related reasons.

“I didn’t specifically hear anything like that,” she noted to WTIC. “I just know that the manager was resisting trying to have us set up.”

Conaway told the station he’s hopeful the reschedule back-to-school supply drive will still be a success: “We don’t know what’s going to happen with school, how many days are going to be gone, but everybody is in need right now.”

Drive organizers will be at the New Britain Target from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday, WTIC said, adding that Conaway’s organization will be giving out the school supplies Aug. 22 at Blaze Barbershop along West Main Street.

(H/T: The Police Tribune)

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How the Founders Responded to an Epidemic in the Nation’s Capital

by Lawrence Reed, FEE

Do not read this book before eating, or in the midst of a sleepless night. For it is a revolting book, filled with the disgusting details of a loathsome disease.

Sounds like the opening paragraph of a one-star review by a merciless critic, but it’s not. It’s from the 1949 preface to a book by the book’s author himself, J. H. Powell. Titled Bring Out Your Dead: The Great Plague of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia in 1793, it is “the story of a foul and fantastic pestilence, striking without warning in all classes of society,” a true account of “people sick in body and heart, astonished and fearful, paralyzed by the mysterious obscenity about them.”

I thoroughly enjoyed it—the book, that is.

Powell brings to life the people and events of the worst epidemic in American history—yes, worse than the Wuhan coronavirus of 2019-2020 and the Spanish Flu of 1918. Though it was localized in Philadelphia, it killed nearly ten percent of the city of 51,000 people between August 1 and November 9, 1793. That’s about ten times the death rate in the U.S. from today’s pandemic. More than 40 percent of Philadelphians fled into the countryside to escape a disease whose origin (a virus spread by the bite of a mosquito) no one would know for another hundred years.

New interest in historic health disasters is drawing attention to Powell’s book, as well as another good one from 2003, An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy. For this essay, I draw passages from both volumes.

Philadelphia was America’s national capital and headquarters of the federal government in 1793. By act of Congress, the capital wouldn’t move to what is now Washington, D.C. for another seven years. President George Washington had commenced his second term in March. Five months later, in the midst of a hot, wet summer, Philadelphians suddenly took sick in huge numbers, leading quickly to scores of deaths each day. What did the Washington administration do in response?

Nothing. That’s all it could do. It possessed no constitutional duty in the matter and even less experience and expertise. No one argued there were epidemiological exceptions to the First Amendment or, for that matter, to any other provisions in the document ratified just four years earlier. So the federal government never got involved.

Even if the federal government possessed the power to jump into the crisis, it’s hard to conceive of any action it might have taken that would have better met the challenge than what Philadelphians did, crude though it seems by today’s standards. The feds were there, on the scene, but possessed no special knowledge the locals did not also have. Yellow fever is not contagious from one person to another. The disease requires a mosquito in between and nobody knew that then. Lockdowns would likely have made little difference.

The one big issue the Washington administration had to decide—whether to convene Congress in the fall at its Philadelphia location or somewhere else—prompted sharp views on both sides. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (both of an Anti-Federalist bent) told the President he had no authority to move the site where Congress met, so it would have to be Philadelphia, in spite of the crisis. Alexander Hamilton argued that if a foreign enemy occupied the capital or if any other kind of disaster in the city prevented Congress from assembling, then of course the President could bring it together elsewhere. Just weeks into the epidemic, Washington and his Cabinet members themselves skedaddled to Germantown, ten miles to the north, and they hoped Congress would follow.

Jefferson and Madison won that one but, in the end, the question was moot. The first frost in early November killed the mosquitoes and the disease with it. Congress met in Philadelphia in December but one of its first acts was to pass a law authorizing the President to convene it outside the national capital in the future, should conditions require it.

Pennsylvania state government was also domiciled in Philadelphia at the time. The capital wouldn’t be moved to Harrisburg until 1812. In 1793, Governor Thomas Mifflin and the legislature provided some money to Philadelphia to help handle the crisis, then they left town for the duration. So it all came down to Philadelphians. Fortunately, they were blessed with both public and private leadership talent in the persons of Mayor Matthew Clarkson, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and others. Rush was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and had served as Surgeon General of the Continental Army during the War for Independence.

To this day, no cure exists for yellow fever. Thanks largely to the work of U.S. Army physician Dr. Walter Reed (no relation) in 1901, we know that the virus is spread by a particular species of mosquito, Aedes aegyptiModern treatments and palliatives greatly reduce suffering and deaths. Draining swamps and pools of stagnant water remain the most effective preventative measures. But 230 years ago, what a victim endured and what “experts” prescribed were a medieval horror show. Powell writes,

Lassitude, glazed eyes, chills, fevers, headaches, nausea, retching, and nosebleeds would suddenly attack people in the best of health. These symptoms, more violent than any the doctors had ever observed, would be followed by a yellow tinge in the eyeballs, puking, fearful straining of the stomach, the black vomit, hiccoughs, depression, “deep and distressed sighing, comatose delirium,” stupor, purplish discoloration of the whole body [from liver damage], finally death.

In the panic that followed the onset of the epidemic, there was no end to the weird and ineffective treatments suggested and tried. They included dousing the afflicted with vinegar, “earth-bathing” (rolling in dirt), drinking molasses by the quart, burning tobacco in the streets. Purging and blood-letting were Dr. Rush’s favored remedies, which also included a concoction of mercury and jalap, the latter being a drug extracted from the tuberous roots of a Mexican climbing plant. As Murphy’s book reveals,

Ads appeared in the newspapers hawking Peruvian bark, salt of vinegar, refined camphor, and other concoctions, such as Daffey’s Elixir (which contained so much pure alcohol that a glass of it could put a person into a drunken stupor). The science of medicine at the end of the eighteenth century still relied a great deal on ancient myths and folk remedies.

Someone recommended that to purify the air of whatever was causing the disease, gunpowder should be liberally set afire. So for a brief time until residents complained of the noise and smoke, municipal workers pulled cannons through the streets and fired them every few yards or so.

Unaware that a mosquito was the carrier, many people thought they could catch yellow fever from proximity to someone infected. So “social distancing” became the norm. Powell writes,

People quickly acquired the habits of living with fear. Handshaking was abandoned, acquaintances snubbed, everyone walked in the middle of the streets to avoid contaminated homes. Those wearing mourning bands were obviously dangerous, as were doctors and ministers. People maneuvered in passing to get windward of anyone they met.

City government ordered a limited quarantine of arriving foreigners but to little effect because the source of the problem was not overseas. It was quickly lifted. When the city cleaned up the filth in and around the wharves on the river, it likely did more to help than the quarantine.

Afraid to leave their homes unless they had a place to flee to in the countryside, Philadelphians withdrew from commerce. Businesses closed. Mail delivery stopped. Newspapers were reduced to a single page for lack of advertising. Incoming vessels on the Delaware River couldn’t find dock workers so they sat in the water or on the docks while their cargo rotted.

Even clocks in the city went haywire. So many clockmakers and time-setters were sick, dead or gone that Philadelphians often couldn’t tell for sure what time it was.

Churches in Philadelphia never closed during the epidemic. Given the nature of the disease, it wouldn’t have made a difference either way. If government officials had ordered them closed, there’s good reason to believe that devout Philadelphians would have defied or resisted such orders.

To his credit, Mayor Clarkson responded with courage and good sense. He formed a committee of respected local citizens who organized makeshift hospitals, raised money for treatment, cleaned the streets and wharves, and looked after children suddenly orphaned when parents or guardians died from the disease.

Some white residents complained that black nurses in town were raising their fees in the midst of the crisis. They took their complaint to the mayor, hoping he would impose controls on those fees. He said no. Jim Murphy tells us,

The mayor knew he couldn’t order black nurses to refuse any fee over a dollar. If he forced them to hold down their costs, he would have to do the same with every merchant, laborer, and farmer doing business in town. How much food would be brought to market if he insisted that only pre-plague prices be charged? How many carters would haul away diseased corpses? What was happening with the black nurses was a classic example of demand exceeding supply, resulting in higher prices, and nothing more…He also had an ad published in the newspapers that admonished citizens to cease bothering the black nurses as they went about town to do their work.

Dr. Rush, though wrong about remedies, was right about his initial warnings that the illness was yellow fever; he also labored long hours to bring comfort to the afflicted. He died in 1813, widely esteemed a hero by his fellow citizens.

People in nearby cities and adjacent states pitched in to help the City of Brotherly Love while the illness raged. New Yorkers were first with a gift to Philadelphia of $5,000—a substantial sum in those days and the start of a cascade of philanthropy for Philly. According to Powell,

The news of $5,000 from New York spread about the city like a tonic. It was, Editor Brown proclaimed, an act of noble sympathy and generosity. And as other donations poured in, the Committee (of Mayor Clarkson’s creation) wisely gave publicity to them all, even the smallest. Brown’s columns soon were filled with letters from villages, townships, counties, congregations, and synods, all conveying gifts of some kind to the Mayor’s care. The distraught citizens could take heart. They were not alone in misfortune. All America was sharing their burden.

None of that giving was required by anybody. It was simply what Americans did, from the depths of their giving hearts, without mandates from on high. The Philadelphia epidemic of 1793 was one of the new country’s earliest and best examples of the cascade of private charity that defined the nation for the next two centuries.

Yellow fever outbreaks in Philadelphia occurred again during the last three years of the 1790s. None, fortunately, were as lethal and widespread as the 1793 episode.

All these many decades later, perhaps the applicable lessons for today of Philadelphia’s experience then are few and limited. For sure, it’s a tribute to the city that it rallied and prospered, thanks to the initiative of its citizens and the freedoms the nation as a whole enjoyed in its early decades. Half a century after the epidemic, Philadelphia was a bustling city of 122,000 people—two and a half times its size on the eve of the 1793 disaster.

Lawrence W. Reed is President Emeritus and Humphreys Family Senior Fellow at FEE, having served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is author of the 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist? as well as Real Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courage, Character, and Conviction and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. Follow on LinkedIn and Twitter and Like his public figure page on Facebook. His website is

This article was originally published on Read the original article.

Charity Contest Intelwars Retreat Logistics

Generosity in Dire Times, by Elli O.

Warning: This article may be considered controversial by some readers. During this global pandemic it seems as if TEOTWAWKI could be just around the corner. Daily the media is not only reporting the number of infected and deaths, they are also reporting on different shortages- both real and unsubstantiated. Some are in the present and others in the near future. First it was toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Then it was N95 masks and disinfectant wipes. This past week it was meat- poultry, beef, and pork. For those of us who have been preparing for such times, we were not …

The post Generosity in Dire Times, by Elli O. appeared first on

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‘Heartbroken’ Hoda Kotb breaks down after interviewing star quarterback Drew Brees who’s donating $5M to Louisiana for coronavirus relief

Sometimes TV news personalities feel the emotional weight of the stories and subjects they cover — and Hoda Kotb, coanchor of NBC’s “Today,” is no exception.

What happened?

Kotb on Friday morning interviewed New Orleans Saints star quarterback Drew Brees after he pledged $5 million for coronavirus relief to the state of Louisiana, which has been hit hard by the pandemic as businesses have shut down and medical supplies are badly needed.

She told Brees she was “heartbroken” seeing the new struggles citizens are dealing with in New Orleans, a city she covered earlier in her career as an anchor for local station WWL-TV.

“There’s such a need,” Kotb told Brees. “They need hospital equipment, they need all kinds of stuff. And all of a sudden on my Twitter feed yesterday, I looked and it said ‘$5 million’ and ‘Drew Brees,’ and I said, ‘Oh! He came through again!'”

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Brees noted that “there are so many people in need right now” and that the coronavirus is particularly difficult for Louisiana since “we’re a hospitality state” that can’t afford to have its restaurant industry shut down.

On Instagram Thursday, Brees said he and his wife Brittany “will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders, and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.”

The couple are owners or investors in the restaurant chains and food delivery service Brees noted in his post, ESPN reported, adding that they have been heavily involved in the New Orleans and Gulf South communities through their Brees Dream Foundation since the quarterback joined the Saints in 2006 and began helping in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“Hang in there and maintain hope,” Brees told those in the state as the interview with Kotb came to a close. “Obviously, we’ve been through a lot of tough times together — whether it’s hurricanes, oil spills, floods. And this is just another one of those bits of adversity that we’re going to come out better on the other side. But we’ve got to stick together right now.”

Kotb added to Brees that she believes “a lot of things are contagious, including generosity” and that she hopes because he made a “big, generous donation” that others will say, “Hey, maybe I can help out, too.”

‘I’m so sorry’

As soon as the interview concluded, Kotb was overcome with emotion and wasn’t able to deliver the tease of program’s next segment, trying to hold back tears and shuffling papers. “I’m so sorry,” she said, her voice breaking.

Image source: YouTube screenshot

“Oh, Hoda, I know it’s a lot,” coanchor Savannah Guthrie told Kotb. “Hoda, I’m so sorry, hon. Take a moment. It’s a lot. I know where your heart is, my dear, I do.” With that Guthrie offered to tease the next segment, to which Kotb replied, “Yes, please.”

In the replies underneath the “Today” video tweet of Kotb’s emotional moment, many commenters said they were touched by her humanity.

“We are in the midst of a world crisis and it’s stressful and hard,” one commenter wrote. “I’m happy to see some honest, caring, and real emotion from the wonderful Hoda.”

Kotb and Guthrie later recapped the interview and Kotb’s emotional moment:

You can watch her full interview with Brees here.

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Episode-2599- Kurt Dugger on Paraglider Adventures and the Dark Horse Lodge

Kurt Dugger is a Former Infantry Marine turned paramotor pilot who decided to fly across the state of Tn to raise awareness and funds for The Darkhorse Lodge near Paris Tn.  Gretchen and Kirk Catherwood decided to start a retreat Continue reading →

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Celebrities Declaring Digital Death

buylifeDigital Life Sacrifice has celebrities Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Usher, Elijah Wood, Jennifer Hudson, Ryan Seacrest and Alicia Keys “dying” on Facebook and Twitter accounts on December 1 for World Aids Day.

According to the Associated Press, “celebrities have filmed ‘last tweet and testament’ videos and will appear in ads showing them lying in coffins to represent what the campaign calls their digital deaths.”

The site declares that the celebrities will die on December 1 but “you can buy their lives back.” The goal is to raise  $1 million for Keys’ charity Keep A Child Alive, which supports treatment and care of children with AIDS and their families in Africa and India.

Lady Gaga has more than 7 million followers on Twitter and almost 24 million fans on Facebook. She and the other celebrities will sign off of their social networks until $1 million is raised.

“We’re trying to sort of make the remark: Why do we care so much about the death of one celebrity as opposed to millions and millions of people dying in the place that we’re all from?” said Leigh Blake, the president and co-founder of Keep a Child Alive.

It is a creative way to leverage the large number of social network celebrity supporters and draw attention to a very worthy cause. I wonder if this high-profile action will have the secondary effect of making people think about their own digital legacy and what would happen to their social profiles if they died.

In the press release, Alicia Keys called for more people to give up their social network activity as part of the campaign. “It just doesn’t have to be just because you’re a celebrity or something like that. It can be anybody.”